Falls Bridge

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Falls Bridge
Falls Bridge (cropped).jpg
Coordinates 40°00′30″N 75°11′54″W / 40.00833°N 75.19833°W / 40.00833; -75.19833Coordinates: 40°00′30″N 75°11′54″W / 40.00833°N 75.19833°W / 40.00833; -75.19833
Carries 2 lanes of Calumet Street
Crosses Schuylkill River
Locale Fairmount Park, Philadelphia
Official name Falls Bridge
Design Steel Pratt truss
Total length 556 feet (169 m)
Width 25.9 feet (7.9 m)
Longest span 191.9 feet (58.5 m)
Clearance above 17.2 feet (5.2 m)
Opened June 1895
Daily traffic 13,000 (1981)
Toll none

The Falls Bridge is a steel Pratt truss bridge that spans the Schuylkill River in Fairmount Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It connects Kelly (formerly East River) Drive at Calumet Street with Martin Luther King, Jr. (formerly West River) Drive at Neill Drive. It replaced a wooden covered bridge at the same site.

The 556-foot-long (169 m) bridge, with stonemasonry abutments and two stonemasonry piers, with three Pratt-type pin-connected trusses, was built in 1894–1895 at a cost of $262,000 by Filbert Porter & Co. under the direction of Chief Engineer George Smedley Webster (1855–1931) of the Philadelphia Department of Public Works and James H. Windrim, director of the Department of Public Works. The bridge was designed as a double-decker bridge, but the upper deck was never built for lack of funds. The bridge carries two lanes of vehicular traffic on a 26-foot-wide (7.9 m) roadway, with 7-foot (2.1 m) sidewalks on either side, for a total width of 40 feet (12 m).

"View of Proposed Falls Bridge" (1894).

In 2007, blue LED lights were added to highlight the bridge at night.

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